Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

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The secret ingredient to this incredibly rich and moist chocolate cake is sour cream!

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

I’m not quite sure how this chocolate sour cream cake got made. My Mom had asked if I’d be willing to make a birthday cake for my sister for us all to enjoy while my family was in town last week. I gladly agreed, though I wasn’t sure how I’d manage it with my darling, but demanding, two month old.

The secret to my success probably lies in the fact that this is actually a simple layer cake to make. Neither the cake or the icing require a stand mixer and both are a cinch to put together. Intrigued? You should be.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

This is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe. It’s got all the great qualities of a boxed cake mix, but without all of the chemicals and processing. It’s light, moist, and very tender. Most importantly, it’s deeply chocolaty. And every girl deserves an ultra chocolate cake for her birthday.

Would you believe that there is no butter in this icing? Made mostly of melted chocolate and sour cream, it is the silkiest icing I’ve ever used. It glides onto the cake like a dream, I had the whole thing frosted in a matter of minutes. And look how pretty it is! If layer cakes intimidate you, you need to make this cake. You’ll be so glad you did.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

Chocolate sour cream cake with chocolate sour cream icing. Bakers of all levels can bake it. And chocolate lovers will absolutely love it.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

Incredibly rich and moist chocolate cake. The secret ingredient in both the cake and the icing is sour cream!


For the cake:

  • 1 1/4 cup (295 milliliters) hot coffee
  • 1 cup (110 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cup (330 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon (11 grams) baking soda
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (282 grams) sour cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (267 milliliters) vegetable oil

For the icing:

  • 15 ounces (425 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
  • 2 cups (450 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4-1/2 cup (59-118 milliliters) light corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder until no lumps remain. Set aside. In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until smooth and pale yellow in color. Stir in the sour cream, followed by the vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until combined. Stir in the cocoa mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate and instant espresso (if using) in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla extract, and corn syrup. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Taste for flavor and add additional corn syrup a tablespoon at a time to reach the desired sweetness. 1/4 cup was just the right amount for me. The icing will have a thin consistency. Refrigerating it for about 10-15 minutes will help it firm up a bit.
  6. To frost the cake, place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and cover the top with about 2/3 cup of the icing. Place the other cake layer on top and frost the entire cake. Store the cake in the fridge until ready to serve, along with any leftovers.

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email, or take a photo and tag it on instagram with #completelydelicious.